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Seventy wildfires burning in Siberia

April 15, 2012, 19:34 UTC+3

By Sunday morning the fires had spread onto 18,687 hectares

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KRASNOYARSK, April 15 (Itar-Tass) —— Seventy wildfires are burning in Siberia. By Sunday morning the fires had spread onto 18,687 hectares. Twenty-four fires of 9,307 hectares were confined.

The Siberian regional center of the Emergency Situations Ministry told Itar-Tass that the number of regions stricken with wildfires had grown from four to six over the past day. These include the trans-Baikal and Krasnoyarsk territories, the Novosibirsk region and the republics of Altai, Buryatia and Tuva. The situation is the worst in the tarns-Baikal region, where nine large fires have spread onto 17,450 hectares, and three of them have been confined on 8,350 hectares.

Firemen from other Russian regions have been assigned to help colleagues in the trans-Baikal territory. The first 35-member task force from Krasnoyarsk arrived on Saturday. “A total of 1,571 people with 253 machines are putting out the blaze now,” the center said.

The ministry pinned the blame on uncontrolled burning of dry grass by local residents.

High air temperatures, scarce precipitation and high winds of up to 18 meters per second create a fire risk to the Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tomsk regions, the Altai territory, central and southern areas of the Krasnoyarsk territory, southern areas of the Irkutsk region, the republics of Altai, Tuva and Khakassia.


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